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Kahn, BH, Irion FW, Dang VT, Manning EM, Nasiri SL, Naud CM, Blaisdell JM, Schreier MM, Yue Q, Bowman KW, Fetzer EJ, Hulley GC, Liou KN, Lubin D, Ou SC, Susskind J, Takano Y, Tian B, Worden JR.  2014.  The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder version 6 cloud products. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14:399-426.   10.5194/acp-14-399-2014   AbstractWebsite

The version 6 cloud products of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) instrument suite are described. The cloud top temperature, pressure, and height and effective cloud fraction are now reported at the AIRS field-of-view (FOV) resolution. Significant improvements in cloud height assignment over version 5 are shown with FOV-scale comparisons to cloud vertical structure observed by the CloudSat 94 GHz radar and the Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP). Cloud thermodynamic phase (ice, liquid, and unknown phase), ice cloud effective diameter (D-e), and ice cloud optical thickness (tau) are derived using an optimal estimation methodology for AIRS FOVs, and global distributions for 2007 are presented. The largest values of tau are found in the storm tracks and near convection in the tropics, while D-e is largest on the equatorial side of the midlatitude storm tracks in both hemispheres, and lowest in tropical thin cirrus and the winter polar atmosphere. Over the Maritime Continent the diurnal variability of tau is significantly larger than for the total cloud fraction, ice cloud frequency, and D-e, and is anchored to the island archipelago morphology. Important differences are described between northern and southern hemispheric midlatitude cyclones using storm center composites. The infrared-based cloud retrievals of AIRS provide unique, decadal-scale and global observations of clouds over portions of the diurnal and annual cycles, and capture variability within the mesoscale and synoptic scales at all latitudes.

Berque, J, Lubin D, Somerville RCJ.  2004.  Infrared radiative properties of the Antarctic plateau from AVHRR data. Part I: Effect of the snow surface. Journal of Applied Meteorology. 43:350-362.   10.1175/1520-0450(2004)043<0350:irpota>;2   AbstractWebsite

The effective scene temperature, or "brightness temperature," measured in channel 3 (3.5-3.9 m m) of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is shown to be sensitive, in principle, to the effective particle size of snow grains on the Antarctic plateau, over the range of snow grain sizes reported in field studies. In conjunction with a discrete ordinate method radiative transfer model that couples the polar atmosphere with a scattering and absorbing snowpack, the thermal infrared channels of the AVHRR instrument can, therefore, be used to estimate effective grain size at the snow surface over Antarctica. This is subject to uncertainties related to the modeled top-of-atmosphere bidirectional reflectance distribution function resulting from the possible presence of sastrugi and to lack of complete knowledge of snow crystal shapes and habits as they influence the scattering phase function. However, when applied to NOAA-11 and NOAA-12 AVHRR data from 1992, the snow grain effective radii of order 50 mum are retrieved, consistent with field observations, with no apparent discontinuity between two spacecraft having different viewing geometries. Retrieved snow grain effective radii are 10-20-mum larger when the snow grains are modeled as hexagonal solid columns rather than as spheres with a Henyey-Greenstein phase function. Despite the above-mentioned uncertainties, the retrievals are consistent enough that one should be able to monitor climatically significant changes in surface snow grain size due to major precipitation events. It is also shown that a realistic representation of the surface snow grain size is critical when retrieving the optical depth and effective particle radius of clouds for the optically thin clouds most frequently encountered over the Antarctic plateau.